Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Links 4 Amazing Young Men

How cute are these guys?

Okay, what do you think when your daughter says she is bringing home a band?
Batten the hatches?
Lock up the virgins?
Bring in the Calvary?
I just get excited for someone to entertain. Although entertain is a very loose term for my house and town, there isn't much to entertain with.
Curtis, Eric, Robbie and Robbie (I went alphabetically so no one gets their feelings hurt).
Backwards...Robbie, Robbie, Eric and Curtis.
Mixed letters, one of each...BECIROTUS.
Had enough?
Oh one more, backwards mixed letters...SUTORICEB.
Okay I'm spent.

Any way, these are such great guys. Every one of them. Adorable, interesting, personable and very, very talented. They play Indie Rock. Robbie's voice is the kind that steals your daughter heart. Eric is on the guitar. Robbie plays bass. Curtis on drums.
And let me add, perfect guests. Did I mention that they are really cute?
I can't believe they called Modesto 'Cow Town'. That is pretty funny.

They left today to continue their tour in San Jose tonight, then on to...
April 1 - Grant and Green, San Francisco, CA
April 2 - Old Ironside's, Sacramento, CA
April 3 - Aragon High (noontime), San Mateo, CA
April 4 - Blake's, Berkeley, CA

Trust me, go see them.

They are in the music player thing on the right-->-->-->
Eric called it something but I can't remember so it is a music thing. You will figure it out.

Oops, their name is LINKS.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Dessert Plates

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Vegetarian, Diabetic, Lactose Intolerant, Nut Allergic...HELP ME!

Help, I need somebody.
Help, not just anybody.

One of my daughters is going to be home for a very short visit. With her will be a band, 4 young men. I plan to feed them lunch before they perform locally. And maybe breakfast and snacks for the road.

So I asked her "By the way Sweetie, does anyone have any food allergies or anything I should plan for?"

She says "Yeah, about that."

So I have one who is vegetarian, one who is diabetic, one who is lactose intolerant and has nut allergies, and a daughter who loves pasta, bread, cheese and fruit. The other guy and I are just there for the ride.

Really I am so thrilled to do this. I love company and I love my daughter 92 trillion times more. Is that our deficit right now? But I have no idea where to begin to make everyone happy and out of the hospital. It isn't like summer is here and the fruit stands are in full bloom.

So if you have any help to offer I will love you a lot. Possibly as much as a trillion.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Corned Beef Hash

Now this is the real reason I make corned beef. To make hash with the leftovers. I love this stuff. It is white trash cooking in my eyes and we all have a little white trash in us.

The amounts really depend on what you have leftover so this is just a general idea. Also if you have made the glaze from my last post be careful, it will burn, so either cut around it or add the corned beef towards the end and watch your pan.

Leftover boiled red potatoes, with butter
1/2 - 1 onion, white or yellow, diced in big pieces
2 T butter
1 c or more fresh mushrooms, thick sliced
Leftover corned beef in 1" cubes
1/2 c fresh parsley
Salt and fresh pepper

Preheat large frying pan to medium.
Add the potatoes and all the butter etc..
In a smaller pan on medium heat, saute the onions in butter until soft.
Add the onions to the potatoes.
Saute the mushrooms in the pan the onions cooked in until slightly done.
When the potatoes and onions are just beginning to brown, add the corned beef to the pan and turn up the heat one notch.
When the corned beef begins to brown, add the mushrooms.
Cook until everything is browning and crispy.
At the end add the parsley, salt and pepper.

Serve this with some salsa or ketchup on the side and over easy fried eggs and OJ for breakfast. You will feel like you live in Nebraska.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Glazed Corned Beef

You really, really should make this. Really.

I like corned beef but I love THIS corned beef.
I make this every year.
This and corned beef hash.
Again, a Silver Palate recipe, one which I actually found in my stack.
This is 3 steps more than corned beef on the stove, which you must do first.
And 3 ingredients more.

*Cut off the fat.
*Make the glaze.
*Bake for 45 minutes.

Most people like a traditional corned beef dinner on Saint Patricks day. I find it a little boring. This is what I serve on St. Patricks day because it is soooo much better.

Because this corned beef is a little sweet, which works very well with the salty meat, I prefer simple potatoes. Boiled red potatoes with melted butter, fresh ground black pepper and fresh chopped parsley. Add to that homemade biscuits and a salad and I am a very happy girl.

from Silver Palate

3-4 lbs corned beef
1 c orange marmalade or peach jam
4 T dijon mustard or whole grain mustard
4 T brown sugar

Place corned beef in a large pot and cover with water.
Bring to a boil.
Lower heat.
Cover partially.
Simmer as slowly as possible for about 4 hours or until very tender when tested with a fork.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix marmalade, mustard and brown sugar together in a small bowl.
When meat is done, remove from heat and drain.
Cut off extra fat.
Place corned beef in an close fitting baking dish.
Pour marmalade mixture over meat, coating thoroughly.
Baste with the sauce using a larger spoon a few times during baking.
Bake for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until glaze is crisp and brown.

This time I used peach jam and whole grain mustard and loved it just as much. This is a nice dish because you can start the corned beef on your lunch time (if you go home for lunch) and then finish it once you get home with very little effort. A word of warning, the glaze is really hot and the sugars make it stick, don't get it on you when you baste. Trust me.


A little Irish lore...
St. Patrick, according to legend, used the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to the Celts. Three leaves on one stem were as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. A fourth leaf on a clover represented Gods Grace.
I think that is sort of lovely.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Lemon Sour Cream Glazed Iced Pound Cake

How's that for a title?

Spring is coming. I have faith. I believe. I trust.
I love spring and fall. I hate summer and winter.
My Dad says I need to be more Zen about life.
Zen shmen.
Cold is good if you have a cabin and can ski. Hot is good if you have a yacht and a pool and a pool boy named Julio. Otherwise...it sucks being cold and it sucks being hot. But it is perfect in spring and fall.

I love citrus.
It seems sunshiny.
Citrus is fresh, clean, light and juicy.
Love the taste, love the smell.
I don't love the burn when it squirts in my eye though.
Citrus works for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, dessert, taco truck.
You can drink citrus. Think orange juice, grapefruit juice, lemonade, limeade, and then you can add the naughty stuff for fun drinks with parasols and twists and blurry vision.

So why am I babbling? Because I like to. That, and a sweet older gentleman customer gave me a bunch of lemons and grapefruit. What a love. 'Gentleman customer', now that sort of makes me sound like a little whore doesn't it? Oops!

My very favorite cookies in the whole world are at Alexis Baking Company in Napa, California. One of my wonderful sisters lives there so I visit a few times a year and I almost always stop by ABC, usually on the way home. They make a lemon cookie that is crisp and light with a lemon icing. I can never remember the actual name but they remind me of lemon clouds. I buy every one on the platter. I don't even care what they cost. I take them all. I am searching for a lemon cookie recipe like them but until then the craving must be met. So lemon sour cream glazed iced pound cake it is. With extra lemon. Ahhh, that ought to do it. Oh and if you get to Napa, go to ABC. It is somewhere downtown, right by a (blue?) church, maybe on a one way street and next to a liquor store. I swear I always go there but I have to drive around a little till I find it. It is casual and very local, great breakfast and lunch and baked goods. They should pay me for this.

This cake is dense and moist and very lemony. I upped the juice, upped the zest, upped the recipe. There is juice and zest in the cake, juice in the glaze and juice and zest in the icing.
This is a mix of two recipes from Bon Appetit. It's two, two, two cakes in one.
Don't forget, I simplify... c= cup t=teaspoon T=Tablespoon

8-10 servings


3 c cake flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 c sugar
6 eggs, room temperature
1/2 c fresh lemon juice, no bottled stuff!
2 T fresh grated lemon zest
1 c sour cream

Preheat oven to 325°F.
Grease 16-cup tube pan.
Dust pan with cake flour; tap out excess flour.

Sift flour, baking soda and salt into medium bowl.
Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl at medium speed until fluffy.
Gradually add sugar and beat 5 minutes.
Add eggs 1 at a time, beating just until combined after each addition.
Beat in lemon juice and peel.
Using rubber spatula, mix in dry ingredients.
Mix in sour cream.
Transfer batter to prepared pan.

Bake cake until tester inserted near center comes out clean, about 1 hour 30 minutes.

glaze stuff
1/2 c sugar
3/4 c fresh lemon juice

While the cake bakes, make the glaze.
In a small bowl mix the sugar and lemon juice together, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves.

Let cake cool in pan on rack 15 minutes.
Loosen around cake in pan with a butter knife etc..
Carefully turn out cake onto a rack.
Poke holes with a long skewer.
While the cake is still warm, slowly spoon or brush glaze over it letting it soak into cake.

icing stuff
1 1/2 c powdered sugar
2-3 T fresh lemon juice, more or less as desired
1 T fresh grated lemon zest

This is just a basic icing.
After the cake has been glazed and cooled, mix the powdered sugar and lemon juice together until it is the tart/sweet blend that you want and has a smooth consistency.
Drizzle over the cake.

No I didn't wait till it was cool. It was just a little warm. A little warm and icing means drippy icing and not pretty picture. I don't care, it tasted perfect.

Make this, it will not disappoint.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Dorkiness and Impatience

tNo recipe, just dorkiness and impatience.

I love spaghetti with a good marinara and parmigiano reggiano, but no meat. Since Bethany moved out I have lost my movie buddy and fellow pasta eater.

So, excitedly I made pasta last night. So excitedly. The sauce is simmering, the water is bubbling, I am grating. Ooohhh. The plastic wrap is being ripped into the cheese which in my bliss I fail to notice. I am loving every bite. What? I am spitting pieces of plastic. 8 of them. Not so excited now.

Anyone else ever do this?

Thank goodness it was not for guests. Augh!